EMC Says Winning Bid for Spurlock’s TED Speech Was Money Well Spent

As we reported previously, Morgan Spurlock auctioned the naming rights to his TED conference talk on eBay, with the winner, EMC, bidding $7,100. What exactly did EMC get for its money besides the naming rights? Well, that’s it. But if you ask EMC, a whole lot.

“When the opportunity presented itself, it was a natural for us to try and win,” Richard Snee, VP of marketing for EMC’s Greenplum division told us. “We got an opportunity to be at TED, which we weren’t going to go to, and Morgan Spurlock was my spokesperson. I flipped it around in my head and thought that was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.”

Once the chance arose, everyone was gathered on an e-mail (including their PR firm The OutCast Agency), the decision was made, and the bid was placed on the final day, February 17. Snee said he monitored the auction throughout that Thursday.

While Spurlock is a popular personality, there was concern. After all, this is the guy who caused McDonald’s a world of trouble with Super Size Me.

“It wasn’t that we did this on a lark,” said Snee. “Totally contrary to that. We thought about this, thought about it quickly, and took action.”

The rewards include exposure to the TED audience, coverage of the event in outlets like Mashable and on Twitter, and a video interview with Spurlock that will be used at the EMC World event in Las Vegas between May 9 and 12th and on YouTube and other sites. The video, Snee says, will also be used internally and as a recruitment tool to let people know about EMC’s marketing efforts.

The sponsorship is also tied to EMC’s Big Data initiative, which will spread the message to companies about the financial gains that can come from their data, and how EMC technology and storage can help with that.

Snee said that the decision to bid was validated when he got on the phone with Spurlock after placing the winning bid and Spurlock had no clue what EMC was. “That was fundamentally why we wanted to do this. We want more people to know what we’re doing about this initiative,” says Snee.

[Image via TED.]

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